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EUSD reduces supe's salary, "pink slips" 25

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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After raising eyebrows last month with a “secret raise” granted in 2008, Eureka Union School District Superintendent Tim McCarty is asking for another change in salary. This time, he’s asking for a pay cut. At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Eureka school board approved staff recommendations to reduce McCarty’s salary and stipend earnings from $165,000 to $159,000. McCarty requested the board reconsider his take home earnings at a Feb. 19 special board meeting. “As the district faces harsher and deeper cuts, I felt it was necessary for me to lead the charge,” McCarty said. “I’m asking my staff to make difficult cuts and I’d like to be a part of that solution. It’s the right thing to do.” McCarty’s new reduced salary will be effective July 1, 2010. “I appreciate Dr. McCarty’s request and have to say that with the acute budget cuts facing the district this is a conversation that we would inevitably have had,” said Lori Dangberg Eureka School Board president. Pam Ori, president of the Eureka Teachers Association said she was happy to see that the McCarty’s reduced salary would be comparable to other superintendents in the county. “In the future I hope the board will consider posting the salary schedules and stipends of the principals and superintendent to make that information public,” Ori said. In other business, the board approved a resolution to issue preliminary “pink slip” notices to teachers and staff for the 2010-11 school year. Although the district approved a resolution last month to dip into its reserves to save teachers’ jobs, districts statewide are required to provide written notice to all employees who may be affected by March 15. A total of 25 “pink slips” will be issued to Eureka staff notifying them of a reduction in hours or potential layoff come fall. Of the 25 “pink slips” issued, 17 are teachers who could be potentially laid off. There is a possibility for some of the notices to be rescinded after the state budget revise in May and an official tally of teachers taking advantage of the district’s retirement incentive. Currently only five teachers have given notice of their retirement at the end of the school year. Kristy Wallentine, a kindergarten teacher at Maidu Elementary said she was at the bottom of the seniority list and would most likely be one of the teachers to be “pink slipped.” “I’ve worked in the Eureka district for eight years and this will be the sixth year I receive a pink slip,” she said. Wallentine said this time of year for her is typically anxiety riddled, even though her “pink slips” have, in the past, been rescinded by the start of the new school year. This year, however, she said she was concerned about the possibility of not having a job to return to in the fall and said she has put off having a family because of that uncertainty. “Dr. McCarty, you keep saying that we’re losing our students to Loomis and blaming that for our problems,” Wallentine told the board Tuesday. “If that’s the case, maybe I should apply there because it sounds like they may be in need of some teachers.” She then challenged the board members to spend a day in the classroom to see how their decisions affect the students. “I’m afraid our district is headed in the wrong direction with these cuts,” Wallentine said. “Those who don’t enter the classrooms on a regular basis are claiming they’re making the best decisions for our district, but are unable to see how they will affect our students and teachers.” Megan Wood can be reached at meganw@goldcountrymedia.com.